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Chas Man

Lanning: Rope-a-Dope with TT?

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We've all been at a loss to explain TT's performance when allowed to play. He's lost confidence. Lost interest. On the way to the transfer portal. I want to suggest a different perspective. DL is using a rope-a-dope strategy.

 

One article describes the tactic as "a risky boxing strategy famously used by Muhammad Ali against George Foreman in the Heavyweight Championship match held on 30 October 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire. The match is called the Rumble in the Jungle because of the explosive action between the two great fighters. Ali was the better technical fighter, while Foreman, "the bruiser," packed a more brutal punch. In the first round of the fight, Ali scored several technical hits, but Foreman remained unfazed. By the second round, Ali changed his strategy, frequently laying against the ropes, allowing Foreman to exhaust himself by throwing repeated punches, mainly to Ali's protective arms.

 

"Today, rope-a-dope refers to any strategy involving playing the loser to emerge the winner."

 

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • Ty Thompson is an extraordinarily talented and gifted athlete.
  • He has earned the coaches' confidence in practice.
  • DL is beginning to demonstrate a "season-long campaign" approach to in-game coaching and verbalized this perspective by stating that the staff started preparing for the current three 3-game stretch months ago.

Given these facts, it's worth considering the following questions:

  • From a season-long campaign perspective, what could DL gain by having TT show off his capabilities in garbage time against a beaten and inferior opponent? 
  • Why would TT, a talented and gifted athlete, suddenly become incapable of throwing an easy-to-complete pass in the backfield?
  • From a campaign-long perspective, wouldn't it be more valuable to have a backup QB enter the game for which there is no film to identify his tendencies and capabilities in the event of an injury to Nix? Perhaps one whom the opposition has concluded is inept?
  • Why wouldn't DL, a coach who has demonstrated an ability to coach with an entire season and an NC goal orientation, use every possible unknown to his advantage?

Odd as it seems to us Duck fans who want to see the offense score EVERY time they're on the field, DL has a different perspective. When it comes to his use of TT, I think he is "playing the loser to come out the winner."

 

Your thoughts?

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Interesting take but Ty was doing the same stuff last year with MC.

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I appreciate your glass half-full optimism!

 

Mine on the other hand is 3/4 empty.

 

I would love for you to be right.

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On 11/7/2022 at 2:48 PM, Chas Man said:

We've all been at a loss to explain TT's performance when allowed to play. He's lost confidence. Lost interest. On the way to the transfer portal. I want to suggest a different perspective. DL is using a rope-a-dope strategy.

 

One article describes the tactic as "a risky boxing strategy famously used by Muhammad Ali against George Foreman in the Heavyweight Championship match held on 30 October 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire. The match is called the Rumble in the Jungle because of the explosive action between the two great fighters. Ali was the better technical fighter, while Foreman, "the bruiser," packed a more brutal punch. In the first round of the fight, Ali scored several technical hits, but Foreman remained unfazed. By the second round, Ali changed his strategy, frequently laying against the ropes, allowing Foreman to exhaust himself by throwing repeated punches, mainly to Ali's protective arms.

 

"Today, rope-a-dope refers to any strategy involving playing the loser to emerge the winner."

 

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • Ty Thompson is an extraordinarily talented and gifted athlete.
  • He has earned the coaches' confidence in practice.
  • DL is beginning to demonstrate a "season-long campaign" approach to in-game coaching and verbalized this perspective by stating that the staff started preparing for the current three 3-game stretch months ago.

Given these facts, it's worth considering the following questions:

  • From a season-long campaign perspective, what could DL gain by having TT show off his capabilities in garbage time against a beaten and inferior opponent? 
  • Why would TT, a talented and gifted athlete, suddenly become incapable of throwing an easy-to-complete pass in the backfield?
  • From a campaign-long perspective, wouldn't it be more valuable to have a backup QB enter the game for which there is no film to identify his tendencies and capabilities in the event of an injury to Nix? Perhaps one whom the opposition has concluded is inept?
  • Why wouldn't DL, a coach who has demonstrated an ability to coach with an entire season and an NC goal orientation, use every possible unknown to his advantage?

Odd as it seems to us Duck fans who want to see the offense score EVERY time they're on the field, DL has a different perspective. When it comes to his use of TT, I think he is "playing the loser to come out the winner."

 

Your thoughts?

Well done,

 

 

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Young QBs show their raw abilities early. Unfortunately, nobody has seen any indication that he will be “the guy” next season.

 

He looks very robotic for someone that has two years of practice at the college level under their belt. To me it just looks like he is thinking too hard about what he needs to do before every snap. 

 

 

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Have we ever seen TT with the starting O line yet?

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If Nix bails after this season (nobody would blame him if he did) then I bet we see the true freshman win the job next fall

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@Chas Man That is some 13-D chess. 

 

I think you’re def right that coaches aren’t going to show anything interesting in garbage time.

 

TT should have all the non-interesting stuff down cold, but he clearly doesn’t. 

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On 11/7/2022 at 5:36 PM, 1Ducker1 said:

Have we ever seen TT with the starting O line yet?

I want to say he has had a few reps. 

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Thank You @Chas Man for this interesting take on Ty Thompson!

 

I have also wondered if Lanning was purposely keeping Ty in the weeds.

 

On 11/7/2022 at 3:07 PM, GODUCKS15 said:

Interesting take but Ty was doing the same stuff last year with MC.

Good point @GODUCKS15

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I appreciate the optimism, but I think that Occam’s Razor comes into play; the simplest explanation is that, sadly, Thompson is not very good. 
 

I would love to be wrong. 

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I would think that in the age of NIL, players would do everything thing they can to generate a personal fan base. 
 

I don’t think appearing bored and uninspired works on that front. 

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On 11/7/2022 at 2:48 PM, Chas Man said:

"Today, rope-a-dope refers to any strategy involving playing the loser to emerge the winner."

 

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • Ty Thompson is an extraordinarily talented and gifted athlete.
  • He has earned the coaches' confidence in practice.
  • DL is beginning to demonstrate a "season-long campaign" approach to in-game coaching and verbalized this perspective by stating that the staff started preparing for the current three 3-game stretch months ago.

Given these facts, it's worth considering the following questions:

  • From a season-long campaign perspective, what could DL gain by having TT show off his capabilities in garbage time against a beaten and inferior opponent? 
  • Why would TT, a talented and gifted athlete, suddenly become incapable of throwing an easy-to-complete pass in the backfield?
  • From a campaign-long perspective, wouldn't it be more valuable to have a backup QB enter the game for which there is no film to identify his tendencies and capabilities in the event of an injury to Nix? Perhaps one whom the opposition has concluded is inept?
  • Why wouldn't DL, a coach who has demonstrated an ability to coach with an entire season and an NC goal orientation, use every possible unknown to his advantage?

Odd as it seems to us Duck fans who want to see the offense score EVERY time they're on the field, DL has a different perspective. When it comes to his use of TT, I think he is "playing the loser to come out the winner."

 

Your thoughts?

If I might be allowed to disagree here I don't think Ty's performance (or lack luster showing) has anything to do with a rope-a-dope technique.  Dan Lanning doesn't strike me as the type of person to put Ty through this sort of charade. 

 

I've voiced my concern numerous times as well as my puzzlement on this matter.  Truth is, none of us really know what the reason(s) are.  One possibility I've yet to express is that perhaps (?) Ty's performance has much to do with the fact that by the time he gets into the game, the game is essentially decided.  There is no urgency to score any points but more emphasis on just avoiding turnovers and disasters. 

 

The problem with this thought is that it would make very good sense for Ty to help the team achieve at least one first down to control the ball longer.  Even that has been a challenge for him.

 

(Disclaimer: the above post is not meant to be snarky or disrespectful in any way.)

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I am more inclined to think that, given the versatility Dillingham is showing with his offense, he has a set of legitimate plays intentionally designed to give TT opportunities to read the pre/post snap defensive looks and make the appropriate choice with the ball. These are plays that can easily be called to keep the offense rolling while also not giving away too much (if that is indeed the goal).

 

It looks to me like TT is just not getting it. It seems like he is just guessing at what the defense will do and running with the first look in his progression. A screen pass is his first play nearly every single time he starts a drive; followed by a handoff, which inevitably leads to a 3rd down and distance pass attempt.

 

To me that doesn't seem like a coach intentionally hiding their cards, that seems like a player unable to take the next step in the program. DL and KD clearly see something in him or they'd have moved on to Butters by now. It's all very hazy/odd/interesting.

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When the game producer chooses to put the close-up camera on Ty's face, only one word comes to my mind, and it isn't "confidence".

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On 11/8/2022 at 10:39 AM, Feathers said:

When the game producer chooses to put the close-up camera on Ty's face, only one word comes to my mind, and it isn't "confidence".

Deer in the headlights?

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I'm going with Occam's razor here, he doesn't look ready to run the offense because he isn't.

 

Will he be ready next year is the question.  Nothing I'm seeing leads me to believe that is the case.  Hope I'm wrong though, I would love to see a real QB competition between TT, Butters and Moore next year.

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On 11/7/2022 at 8:48 PM, JDuck said:

If Nix bails after this season (nobody would blame him if he did) then I bet we see the true freshman win the job next fall

There is always the possibility of another transfer QB. There are few out there who could use some rehabilitation. Guys like DJU and Van Dyke come to mind.

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I believe, and let me tell you how hard for me this has been to articulate, TT does not have command of the offense.  Bo approaches the line, looks over the defense and appears to be able to make adjustments to the called play.  Young TT, does not appear to make those critical calls.

 

This year looks no different than last years performances and that was a whole different staff.  The other indicator to me is, team mates banter.  Have I missed the excitement from RB's, WR's or TE's, even linemen regarding his leadership, efforts.  Some people are quieter than others and let their actions speak for them.  Confidence is important for a QB, it is built by little successes, positive plays.

 

Everyone wants a Five Star QB that elects to come to Oregon to succeed.  Part of being a Duck Fan, is watching young men, find their voice, develop their talents and finding success as a Duck Athlete.  TT, I have NO DOUBT that Duck Fans, myself included, want you to succeed and have memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.  Go Ducks.  Thanks Charles and Staff.

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On 11/8/2022 at 10:56 AM, DrJacksPlaidPants said:

There is always the possibility of another transfer QB. There are few out there who could use some rehabilitation. Guys like DJU and Van Dyke come to mind.

NOT Van Dyke!  I can run faster than he can and I've seen WAY too seasons.

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Nerves or malcontent are the only thing that comes to mind for me. TT looks NOTHING like he did in the Spring game. At least there he looked alive and wanting to compete.  Granted, they kept the plays simple...but they do the same for him now.  Either he freezes up on the big stage, or he has been so disappointed in being the back-up to a transfer (yet again) that he doesn't even want to go out and run the 5-6 plays they give him.

 

What's odd though is that he's showing enough in practice to keep the back-up spot...which means there's no way he looks the way in practice that he does in games.   That in itself lends credence to the "rope a dope" strategy, but I just can't see a coach putting a player though that.  I guess we won't know until next season...either Nix will move on and we'll see an electric TT, or Nix will stay and TT will transfer (or stay content being the back up)...

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On 11/8/2022 at 10:39 AM, Feathers said:

When the game producer chooses to put the close-up camera on Ty's face, only one word comes to my mind, and it isn't "confidence".

No, I certainly agree with that.

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On 11/8/2022 at 1:54 PM, Wrathis said:

  I guess we won't know until next season...either Nix will move on and we'll see an electric TT, or Nix will stay and TT will transfer (or stay content being the back up)...

And what do you suppose might happen should this 5-star wonderkind we've all been hearing about (Donte Moore) decides to commit to Oregon?  The Transfer portal opens up once again Dec. 03.  Maybe the answer lies there. 

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On 11/8/2022 at 2:05 PM, Mic said:

And what do you suppose might happen should this 5-star wonderkind we've all been hearing about (Donte Moore) decides to commit to Oregon?  The Transfer portal opens up once again Dec. 03.  Maybe the answer lies there. 

 

QUACK: Oregon Football Lands Five-Star QB Dante Moore - On3

 

Dante Moore commits to Oregon: Huge win for Ducks, brutal loss for Michigan  football - Scorebook Live

Mr. FishDuck

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Did anyone notice TT standing on the sidelines all by himself after his first series of downs. Not a good look. Where were his friends.

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I think it is just nerves.

 

He's a smart kid. Physically gifted. He has all the tools.

 

He looks cool and collected on the side lines, engaging with teammates, early in games.

 

Fourth quarter comes around and his whole demeaner changes. He looks like he is about to vomit while warming up. Then goes out there and plays stiff and looks lost.

 

I hope he can somehow overcome his fears.

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I can't imagine a good coach would direct a player to purposely play below his skill level in an actual game.  Practicing subpar play on gameday doesn't help one become a better gameday player. 

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On 11/8/2022 at 3:45 PM, CountryProf said:

I can't imagine a good coach would direct a player to purposely play below his skill level in an actual game.  Practicing subpar play on gameday doesn't help one become a better gameday player. 

I feel the same way.  No way Lanning & Dillingham are asking him to go out there and dog it.  It's very puzzling.  I suspect we won't know more until either we see Nix go down in a game to injury (Lord forbid!) or next season when Nix moves on (if he does).

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On 11/8/2022 at 3:45 PM, CountryProf said:

I can't imagine a good coach would direct a player to purposely play below his skill level in an actual game.  Practicing subpar play on gameday doesn't help one become a better gameday player. 

I can’t disagree with this sentiment. One of those mysteries of sports how this could be the same guy. 

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247Sports named Ty Thompson the 'Alpha Dog' of the Elite 11 camp, given to the player their staff deemed to be the top performer

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On 11/8/2022 at 7:00 PM, John Charles said:

I can’t disagree with this sentiment. One of those mysteries of sports how this could be the same guy. 

WWW.OREGONLIVE.COM

247Sports named Ty Thompson the 'Alpha Dog' of the Elite 11 camp, given to the player their staff deemed to be the top performer

That's a mystery to me as well. I think there's another possibility here. Most of us, including me, think that Oregon's new coaches are uniformly good at improving players at all positions. What if the coaches responsible for improving quarterback play are not so good? Nix had a lot of experience coming in, was matched to an offensive coordinator that he meshed well with earlier in his career, and was presumably coached up and then definitely given free reign to change play calls based on his defensive reads.

 

You could argue that it didn't take a lot of coaching to take Nix to that next level. It would take a lot of good coaching to take a relatively raw recruit like Ty Thompson to the next level. If this tentative theory is correct, I don't think it would necessarily be the coaches fault.. From my outside perspective, the quarterback position is the most complicated position in football. They are responsible for so many things, so it follows that there are so many skills that coaches have to shape.

 

I'm just spitballing here. Not trying to criticize anyone. I love this team, and I especially love this year's team, with all the unexpected achievement, fun, and enjoyment they've given us. Just trying to understand what's going on with Ty Thompson, and hoping that young man goes on to have a great career.

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